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Statement: Academic community condemns attack on academic freedom


Last weekend, a Leiden University assistant professor was harassed at home by VizierOpLinks (Left Wing Watch). A person or persons unknown put a sticker on her front door saying that her house was under observation by followers of this group. This is a far-reaching violation of her freedom, privacy and sense of security. It is unacceptable and reprehensible. Members of the academic community must be able to conduct their research and communicate their findings safely and freely. Harassing and threatening our people is a direct attack on both academic freedom and freedom of expression. By encouraging these kinds of actions, VizierOpLinks is threatening core values of our open society. As an academic community, we are committed to protecting and supporting our members.

This kind of action must stop immediately. Dutch universities and research institutions will report these and similar cases to the police. Affected employees will be asked to do the same.

Pieter Duisenberg, President of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU)
Ineke Sluiter, President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

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Ruben Puylaert

Spokesperson

+316 13 86 10 69

Liselotte de Langen

Deputy spokesperson (Thursday)

+31 (0) 6 5171 0972